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One more carol service to go today, a short one for some colleagues, and then that funny pre-Christmas thing happens – everything goes quiet for a while.  In fact, after today there is calm until Sunday, just as in Silent Night.  Yesterday was another one of those busy and slightly improvisational ones, with an unexpected choir at my first service of the day (who were pretty good) and the rather shocking news, according to the service sheet, that Jesus had a face “like an angle”.  I bumped into a good friend (also an extremely fine singer) in town, gave a coaching session and played for the Parliament Choir’s last meeting of 2013 before heading home to be greeted by festive spirits and mince pies.  This took some of the disappointment out of the realisation that I had left my shopping somewhere in town…

It sounds like PR, but I am really looking forward to clearing the decks before the weekend, as there are a few outstanding things which need to be tidied.  A bit of printing, a bit of writing of programme notes, a bit of critiquing of a student’s compositions, that kind of thing.  Also, as of yesterday, hunting down bags of shopping.  With luck I can get this all done in the next day or so, and then settle down with some fresh manuscript and take my piano piece from there.

I heard also yesterday that the Southwark Mass For Men’s Voices will be performed at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin on Sunday morning, and I am very happy indeed about that.  My musical experience of Dublin thus far has been seeing KISS at the O2 arena and, had I not lost my last phone, there would be a picture of me below in full face paint, but there we go.  Having my work performed at the Cathedral is an entirely different thing, of course, but represents my Irish premiere, and there’s a little tingle of pride in this particular O’Neill’s breast this morning.

Hopefully over the next few days I will be able to shake off the lingering remnants of a nasty cough/cold/sore throat ensemble which has been haunting me for over a month now.  Every time I feel it is on the way out I expose myself to London-based germs or do something silly and back it comes.  I have been dosed up to the eyeballs over the past few weeks, but still cannot seem to be free of it.  However, this afternoon’s carols are at a doctor’s surgery. so maybe I can pick up some hints.